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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« on: April 11 2008 »

By: Zachary Ochieng

Article summary:
The unified licensing framework would enable the issuance of licences based on the delivery of services to consumers.

ICT industry stakeholders have given the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) the green light to implement a unified technology neutral licensing framework effective July this year. The new licensing framework will allow the provision of multiple services under a single licence.
At a recent consultative forum held at the Kenya College of Communications Technology (KCCT), the stakeholders agreed that migration to unified licensing framework would be a good mechanism to harness the opportunities presented by technological advancements in ICT and to address the challenges that have emerged due to technological convergence.
Presiding over the opening of the consultative forum, CCK Director-General Eng John Waweru said technological convergence has rendered the prevailing technology based licensing regime and market structure untenable. This, he said, was because convergence in the various ICT delivery technologies and the convergence in the ICT services offered to the end-user have blurred the existing license boundaries.
The Director- General added that the unified licensing framework would enable issuance of licences based on the level that a licensee is going to participate in the delivery of services to consumers as opposed to what a licensee is allowed to deliver to consumers, as is the case today. He assured stakeholders that the Commission would ensure a seamless migration of all the existing licensees who have complied with their licensing conditions into the new framework without interfering with their existing rights and obligations.
On the impact of the new framework on competition, Eng Waweru said that the proposed ICT Bill provides sufficient safeguards against anti-competitive market behaviour, including discriminatory pricing.  He clarified that licensees with more than one licence in the unified licensing framework will be required to either use separate entities to conduct their business or separate accounts for different licences to ensure that they do not give preferential treatment to their own business as compared to other licensees to who they offer services.
The Commission benchmarked extensively with other jurisdictions including on the unified licensing framework, and the transition is consistent with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) policies on licensing.
Meanwhile, Dr James Kulubi has been appointed the Director of KCCT. In a Kenya gazette notice, Information and Communications Minister Samuel Poghisio appointed Dr Kulubi to serve for a period of three years.
Dr. Kulubi has vast experience in the ICT industry. He is the immediate former Secretary of the National Communications Secretariat, the ICT policy-making organ in the Ministry of Information and Communications, a position he has held for the last seven years.
He had a stint at CCK as the acting Director-General from March to May 2005. He has also served as an associate professor in Information Systems Technology at the United States International University (USIU), Senior Lecturer at Moi University, consultant for the East and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI) and as a member of the Public Universities Inspection Board among other capacities.
The ownership of KCCT was transferred from CCK last year following the restructuring of the phone utility in readiness for privatization. CCK has since been providing an oversight role in the running of KCCT affairs.

source: HANA
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